Do you have habit of clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth? Do you continuously feel tightness or pain in your jaw, facial muscles or throat? If yes, probably you are suffering from a TMJ disorder.
What is TMJ?
TMJ is an acronym for temporomandibular joint. TMJ is a joint right in front of your ears on both sides of your head. This joint helps us in moving our mouths to speak, yawn and eat. However, there are several things that can damage or irritate this joint and the surrounding tissue and bone, and this very condition is termed as TMJ disorder.
Symptoms of TMJ disorder:
TMJ disorder is responsible for producing pain in the jaw, neck, ears and face. Other Symptoms include grinding or popping in the jaw while chewing, locking of the jaw, swelling on the sides of the face or a feeling that lower and upper teeth no longer fit accurately.
Causes of TMJ disorder?
There are numerous causes for a TMJ disorder, however many common reasons are related to rheumatic diseases or jaw injuries that affect joints like arthritis. Tension in the neck or head are probable factors that contribute to the disorder, as well as habitual tongue thrusting. Other habits that could start a TMJ disorder include jaw clenching, and teeth grinding. Poorly fitting dentures can also cause aggravation in the mouth and jaw, which can lead to disorder.
Treatment of TMJ disorder:
Treatment of TMJ disorder depends on the seriousness of the disorder and the pain you experience. If inflammation is the source of the disorder, your dentist may prescribe a medication to assist the inflammation and pain lessen and to assist relax your jaw. If stress is the source of the issue, an anti-anxiety medication may be prescribed to assist manage the stress responsible for lockjaw.
If the problem is due to constant teeth clenching or teeth grinding you may likely be fitted for a mouth piece. Mouth piece will prevent your lower and upper teeth from getting in contact. Oral issues or missing teeth that can cause an uneven biting surface are also a cause of TMJ disorder. For such situation, having dental work done is the best option.
Other treatment options can include visiting an oral surgeon. Oral surgeons specialize in surgery of jaw and face and can assist to correct any misalignment or other issues that may be causing the TMJ disorder.
Like always, if you have any concerns or questions, you can feel free to reach out to us.